The recent nuclear power plant catastrophe in Japan has led to many countries to look more seriously at greener energy sources, which are environmentally sustainable. The UK's green energy industry has been given a helping hand by the government with a new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
Initially £860 million of funding has been provided to encourage the use of technologies such as biomass boilers, heat pumps and thermal panels. Financial support in the form of payments on a quarterly basis over a 20 year period will be made to the owners of the renewable heat installations.
This incentive will give companies and domestic installers a financial reason to use renewable energy not only this suppliers will also receive support. The recent extreme cold weather caused many gas boilers to breakdown and pipes to freeze along with around 100,000 heating system failure calls to British Gas alone. The Renewable Heat Incentive will encourage businesses and homeowners to look into new heating systems which are more environmentally friendly which can actually provide some financial subsidy at the same time.
The Renewable Heat Incentive is expected to support emerging green technologies and help create thousands of jobs with further funding reaching the £4.5 billion mark by 2020. Currently 95% of the UK's heat is dependent on fossil fuel. The scheme will initially be introduced to the public and commercial sector followed by the domestic sector in 2012. Until that time £15 million will be available to homeowners in the form of grants. Expected subsidy levels are £300 for solar thermal and £950 for biomass boilers. At the moment many renewable energy technologies are seen as expensive the government subsidies should at least give some homeowners an incentive.
For large-scale renewable heating systems the following tariffs will be available:
* 4 pence per for ground-source heat pumps (pence/kWth)
* 8.5 pence for solar thermal (pence/kWth)
* 6.5 pence biomethane combustion (pence/kWth)
Another country which is trying to change its energy usage habits is the US. President Barack Obama recently announced an ambitious plan to cut oil imports by a third and natural gas dependency in a bid to become more self-sufficient and look towards more environmentally friendly sustaining sources.
Along with the introduction of new green initiatives comes a plethora of advancements and innovations in the energy industry. Recently a new oil burner was unveiled which delivers an advanced combustion system. The box shaped device effectively turns oil into a mist which burns far more efficiently. This is an ideal invention for homeowners who do not use gas boilers and rely on oil to heat their home. According to the inventor it will pay for itself within 2-3 years and will enable homes which use oil based heating systems to reduce their carbon footprint and heating bills.
Renewable energy has many attractive benefits rising oil prices are making it expensive for householders off the gas grid to heat their homes at a time when the economy is struggling. Reducing homes overall carbon footprint obviously has environmental benefits and will allow them to take advantage of cheaper energy alternatives such as biomass fuels.